There are all kinds of rumors and leaks. Beware, as the Night is Dark and Full of Misdirection.
Forget the White Walkers, what we really have to fear is the leaks. If there’s one thing that keeps HBO’s executive and marketing teams up at night, it’s photographers and videographers who camp around their set and leak information to the public. So-and-so is meeting with this person, you won’t believe that so-and-so is returning this season, and the like. As Game of Thrones the show has begun to steadily sprint away from the comforts of directly adapting the books of George R.R. Martin, the need for fans to rely on quick fixes of production spoilers has increased dramatically.
But it’s a minefield, this spoiler-riddled wasteland. With every verifiable piece of information that comes from the production, there seem to be ten potentially fake reports. How do we know what is real and what is fake? We don’t, but we can take some educated guesses. Let’s dig into the latest of these big reveals below and test their veracity.
Definitely True: Jon and Daenerys Meet
A few weeks back, we started to hear rumors that Jon Snow and his long-lost aunt Daenerys Targaryen would at some point meet on-screen. It seemed plausible at the time, as the show began constructing sets that appeared to be Dragonstone, the place of Dany’s birth (formerly occupied by Stannis Baratheon).
As this week’s production ramped up, video evidence emerged of the fateful meeting:
Also, in a post on Watchers on the Wall today, we can see images of Jon Snow landing on what appears to be the island of Dragonstone. There he is accompanied by Ser Davos, greeted by Tyrion Lannister and some Dothraki. Everyone on Team Targaryen, including Missandei and Daenerys, are now sporting some sleek black outfits. Those Dragonstone tailors work fast.
As this is a proven piece of information, we can begin to speculate about the narrative implications of Jon traveling to Dragonstone to meet Dany. Remember, it’s not entirely likely that he knows he’s a half-Targaryen, so to him this is simply a meeting of a King in the North and an aspiring Conqueror. It could very well be a contentious meeting.
Some things to remember:
- Jon’s primary agenda item will likely be the forthcoming war against The Night King and his undead army. Will Daenerys believe him and delay her Lannister Murder Tour to save The Realm?
- If Jon and Davos are headed south to meet the Dragon Queen, this leaves room for all kinds of Littlefinger shenanigans at Winterfell. Will he attempt to use Sansa to usurp Jon’s hold on The North?
- Tyrion was the general who ordered the wildfire blast at the Battle of Blackwater, which claimed the life of Ser Davos’ son (and a good number of his friends). Will this come up in conversation?
Definitely True: They Found Gendry
This one was a real surprise, as I had all but written off the return of The Last Baratheon Bastard a long time ago. Is he still out there rowing? What’s his core strength like these days? The answers are in this spoiler footage from Plentzia Telebista:
Here we see a sequence in which Ser Davos is walking toward an empty boat, accompanied by Gendry. They are approached by Gold Cloaks, which leads us to believe that they are outside King’s Landing. Davos appears to get them to go away, until Tyrion shows up and is spotted (he is pretty famous, after all). This leads to a confrontation and Gendry bringing out his Baratheon Warhammer. It’s not only very cool to see that Gendry is back on the show, but to see him picking up the weapon of his father is a nice treat. I imagine this will be a fun moment in the show, though it does raise a question or two. Most notably: how did they find Gendry and is he skeptical about allying with the Ser Davos, a Lannister, and a Targaryen Queen? Perhaps he’s still got a soft spot for Davos after he put him in a boat and pointed toward the sea.
Fun, But Not Likely
Could Westworld’s autonomous theme park expand to include a WesterosWorld, a theme park in which your average schmoe can become part of Queen Cersei’s court or fight among the Dothraki horde? This is an idea floated by George R.R. Martin prior to Westworld’s premiere on HBO. Assuming continued success for Westworld, could there be a crossover? Here’s what showrunner Jonathan Nolan told EW: “We love George and our daughter’s first trip anywhere in the world was out to Santa Fe for a screening of The Prestige at his theater, the Jean Cocteau. He’s a lovely guy and a stunning writer and it’s flattering he would encourage a crossover. We should be so lucky.”
It’s a fun idea, but not one that I’d put stock into. Though if you think about it, what a weird/fun way for HBO to incorporate some of its other properties into Westworld, assuming it ends up earning multiple seasons. In the 1973 movie upon which it’s based, the Old West theme park was one of many. Why not a theme park based on Rome? Or one set in the 1920s world of Boardwalk Empire? Although I think maybe they’d stay away from The Wire, as that’s a little too real for the rich people of the future.
Dangerous: The Assembled Plot of Season 7
At first, I thought this new leaked plot synopsis of season 7 on Reddit would be like the one we saw last year (which turned out to be almost completely false). Upon further inspection, it’s clear that this is just one obsessive’s way of assembling all the rumors that are out there. While it’s a meticulous round-up of everything we’ve seen, much of this is speculative and even more dangerously, based on unsubstantiated rumors.
There are sites out there that have begun to report this as a leaked synopsis, which is a mischaracterization. It’s filled with some clearly fan-driven speculation (like Jon and Dany having a love scene in episode 7). The kinds of things that would be impossible to confirm at this point, as they would be shot on a closed set. What I’m saying to you, dear friends and spoiler-lovers, is be careful what you read and what you take seriously. Speculation is a lot of fun, but it requires an acknowledgment that it’s just speculation.
Here is one thing I did find to be fascinating from this assembled synopsis: “Viserion is killed and raised as the Night King’s mount.”
For years, book readers have theorized that there’s an ice dragon inside The Wall. It was born of a set of stories that Old Nan told Jon Snow when he was a child. The popular theory is that The Night King would bring The Wall down, releasing the Ice Dragon. The idea of him killing one of Dany’s dragons and turning that into an undead ice dragon does seem like a more plausible route to this end, as it requires no more mythology-building on the part of the show. Plus, Dany losing a dragon would be the kind of catastrophic event that could increase the stakes heading into the final season. Even though it’s completely unverified, I like this one.
For more Game of Thrones speculation, don’t forget to stay plugged into A Storm of Spoilers. We’re on an offseason tour of other pop culture properties, but we’re also spending 15–20 minutes at the beginning of every episode on Game of Thrones news and speculation.